Here are today’s new developments:
- Canadian MPs are now taking part in sessions of the House of Commons both virtually and in-person, with regular Parliament replaced by meetings of a special committee mainly focused on COVID-19.
- In Ontario, Andrea Horwath and the Official Opposition have said for-profit corporations need to get out of long-term care, and replaced by public, community-based care. Following yesterday’s horrific report on conditions in long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec, federal Opposition Leader Jagmeet Singh also called on the government to outlaw for-profit long-term care facilities and create national standards under federal health law.
- A day after the military reported atrocious conditions in five Ontario long-term care homes, Premier Doug Ford was notably absent from a sitting of the Ontario Legislature for the second day in a row. Official Opposition MPPs questioned the government on claims it knew nothing about the harrowing conditions in long-term care facilities province-wide — despite incident reports, media reports, affidavits filed in legal cases and family members speaking out.
- The province said it will take over five long-term care homes, including four mentioned in yesterday's damning report. The Official Opposition has urged the Ford government to take over all homes failing to protect residents and staff.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- In an op-ed published in today’s Ottawa Citizen, Andrea Horwath said Premier Ford and his government must stamp out COVID-19 hotspots by ramping up inspections and having a hospital or public health authority take over every unsafe long-term care facility.
“… stories of residents with horrific bedsores, unseen falls and recurring infections have continued — and time and time again, the government of the day has sent thoughts and prayers, but never help.” – Andrea Horwath
- Official Opposition Tenant Rights critic Suze Morrison said it's wrong for the Ford government to quietly ram through legislation that will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants, especially during a pandemic.
- Ontario Official Opposition Education critic Marit Stiles said the new normal for our province’s public schools must take into account new funding needs, and ensure collaboration among educators, parents, students, experts and community and political leaders.